Reform synagogues set high holiday services
Updated: October 7, 2012 7:49AM
SKOKIE — For the first time in at least a decade and quite possibly much longer, Temple Judea Mizpah will recognize the high Jewish holidays at home.
That’s a pretty big change for the nearly 200 family members of the Reform Jewish synagogue who are used to attending Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services in larger venues.
Services in the past, said membership co-chairman Steve Hanan, were held at one of the Niles Township high schools and even the North Shore Center For the Performing Arts to accommodate larger crowds.
“We’ve been members for 11 years,” Hanan said of his own family, “and since then, these services have never been held at Temple Judea Mizpah. It’s probably been a lot longer than that.”
Several considerations went into the decision to bring religious services during the high holidays back home at 8610 Niles Center Road. Synagogue membership is not as high as it once was, which means Temple Judea Mizpah expects its synagogue to be able to handle the crowds.
Another consideration is financial, Hanan said. The synagogue will save funds by holding some of its most important services in its own building.
But while these are practical considerations, there are important benefits to the decision, too.
“I think people are very comfortable here,” Hanan said. “This is where other services and activities are held and it’s familiar to everyone.”
Even before Rosh Hashanah begins Sept. 16 and Yom Kippur Sept. 25, Temple Judea Mizpah will kick off a new season with an annual social event that allows members to reacquaint with each other.
An open house and barbecue are scheduled from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sunday, which, not coincidentally, is the first day of religious school at the synagogue.
Rosh Hashanah services at Temple Judea Mizpah are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Sept. 16 and 10 a.m. Sept. 17 and 18. A Rosh Hashanah family service is also scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Sept. 17 and a Tashlich service at 4:15 p.m. Sept. 17.
Rosh Hashanah marks the Jewish new year, of course, and “Tashlich” means “casting off” in Hebrew and involves symbolically casting off the sins of the previous year by tossing pieces of bread or another food into a body of flowing water.
Yom Kippur services at Temple Judea Mizpah begin at 7:30 p.m. with a Kol Nidre Service, a prayer which is usually held just before Yom Kippur, the Day Of Atonement.
Yom Kippur Services are also scheduled for 10 a.m., 1:30 p.m. (family service) and 3 p.m. Sept. 26 at the synagogue.
Unlike Temple Judea Mizpah, Skokie’s other Reform synagogue, Temple Beth Israel, continues to hold most of its high holiday services in a larger venue.
Temple Beth Israel begins its services with “preparation for repentance” at 11 p.m. Saturday in the temple sanctuary, 3601 Dempster St.
Services will be preceded by a study session at 9:15 p.m. Tickets are not required.
Temple Beth Israel services for Rosh Hashanah are scheduled at 8:15 p.m. Sept. 16 at Evanston High School, 1600 Dodge Ave., Evanston. Tickets are required.
A young families holiday service is scheduled at 9 a.m. Sept. 17 at the same high school with no tickets required. But tickets are required for Rosh Hashanah services scheduled for 10 a.m. Sept. 17 at the school.
Following the Temple Beth Israel family service Sept. 17, children in pre-kindergarten through third grade can participate in special programming, complete with holiday activities and snacks until the conclusion of the adult Rosh Hashanah morning service.
Second day Rosh Hashanah Services are scheduled at 10 a.m. Sept. 18 at Temple Beth Israel. Tashlich observance will follow the service. No tickets are required.
A Yom Kippur/Kol Nidre service is scheduled for 8:15 p.m. Sept. 25 at Evanston High School with tickets required.
A Temple Beth Israel Yom Kippur young families service is scheduled for families with children age 5 and under at 9 a.m. Sept. 26 at Evanston High School. No tickets are required.
Yom Kippur Services are also scheduled at 10 a.m. Sept. 26 at the high school with tickets required.
Yizkor and Neilah services are scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Sept. 26 at the Evanston high school with tickets not required.
For more information about high holiday services at Skokie’s Reform synagogues, call Temple Judea Mizpah at (847) 676-1566 and Temple Beth Israel at (847) 675-0951.